Touch of Magic, A
General Motors Motorama of 1961. Film an interesting followup to DESIGN FOR DREAMING.
Man in knight's costume and in dragon costume holding signs that read No admittance.
lots of musical numbers along with dancing;
Song: Magic Motorama;
fake clock hands turn swiftly around
set: castle exterior
woman dressed as lady in waiting;
car rises above audience on a bunch of balloons and fake smoke; couple drives car above clouds in sky;
features 1961 Chevrolet; Pontiac; Oldsmobile; Buick convertible; Cadillac
Just Married sign;
Man carries woman over threshold
woman dancing around living room; excellent woman talking on phone; man scurries round the kitchen at a high speed, dressed in a tuxedo and a chef's hat; reaction shots of surprise;
Chevrolet Corvair station wagon;
man serves drinks (Manhattans?); woman serving food at a party; great looking;
food and drinks disappear as if by magic; the mess after a party; reaction shot: exhausted partygivers;
special shots: cleaning; man and woman fling plates which magically stack themselves in the dishwasher; clean dishes put themselves away in cabinet; couple dancing around their house.
man and woman dance in the clouds with crescent moon in the sky;
Why is the entrance barred? What secret do they guard? What are they designing in there? Magic, Magic Motorama, Magic Motorama. [MPO Productions presents A Touch of Magic with Tad Tadlock and James Mitchell. Restricted Area. No Admittance. Designer's Studio. Main titles film titles graphic design lettering knights costumes medieval trumpets]
Here long before the show is staged, begins the magic of creation. And here the show first comes to life in the designer's imagination. Oh, my it's great to be alive. Let's have some fun before the crowds arrive. Let's pretend we're living the magic of the past. Cool man, cool, but we will have to work fast. [stage designer industrial theater trompe d'oeil models mattes dancers dancing]
Turn back the clock and come with me to days of golden chivalry when ladies fair love knights in shining armor. You'll be my strong and gallant knight, so tender when our hearts are light, so brave when you must fight an evil charmer. [time machines hands reverse motion medievalism costumes knights Arthurianism banners flags]
Your magic sword will save the day. You'll chase the dragon far away and turn my life of woe to joy and laughter. Then troubadours will sing your praise in chansonette and roundelays. And I'll be yours to love for everafter. [combat jousting costumes martial arts chivalry romance applause audiences crowds time travel]
Let's get out of here. It's too late. Ladies. Gentlemen. The magic of the past doesn't last. What we want to see is the magic of the present. [time travel modernity Fifties blue sweaters Tad Tadlock James Mitchell]
Modern magic. The beautiful 1961 Chevrolet. This car practically drives itself. Do you want to try it? I'd love to. How is that for magic? Smooth man, smooth. [balloons crane shots applause crowds audiences Motorama waving couples heaven process plates artificiality backgrounds]
The 1961 Pontiac. It's bewitchingly beautiful. Look who wants a lift? Behave yourself. [unveilings applause crowds audiences process plates artificiality backgrounds heaven dragons clouds]
The new Oldsmobile. You will be enchanted by it's comfort and power. In this car you feel like everything is coming up roses. [applause balloons crowds audiences crane shots process plates artificiality backgrounds police motorcycles highway patrol clouds heaven bouquets]
The Buick for 1961. Designed and engineered for the spell of the open road. She walks in beauty like the night. She rides in Buicks like a bird in flight. You are so right. [poetry rhymes rhyming balloons crane shots audiences crowds applause waving wind ecstasy]
And now the last word in modern alchemy . . .The 1961 Cadillac. I'm beginning to like this. So am I. But we have got to get back. People may talk. A touch of magic will fix that. Oooh. Home, James. [unveilings crowds applause audiences chauffeurs elegance backgrounds process plates theaters theatres angels intimacy telephones]
This dream house you and I will share was planned for us by Frigidaire. I really can't believe my eyes. In every room a new surprise. Aladdin's lamp has had its day. This modern magic is here to stay. [Just Married sign couples marriage dancing]
Oh, let's have a housewarming. [telephones calling refrigerators hats chefs food pixillation cooking meals lounging Frigidaire Kitchen of the Future Kitchen of Tomorrow futurism futuristic cooking gender roles]
Gee, I'm tired. Come on dear, our guests are arriving. Oh look, here are the Smiths in a new Pontiac Tempest. What a dream house. What a dream automobile. [dancing twirls horns honking]
Hi kids! Get a load out of my Oldsmobile F85. Say Freddy, that's the latest . . . And the greatest. It's Doctor and Mrs. Brown. Good-evening newlyweds. Where do I park my new Buick Special. Just bought it. How smart. Smartest thing he ever did. Well, everybody is here now. [reaction shots waves waving station wagons]
And for a wedding present. In your garage, a new Chevrolet Corvair. Housewarming, lovely house and fine design. Housewarming, oh the food is so divine. No thanks, I'm on a diet. Can't eat a thing tonight. If you insist, I'll try it. Just a bite. Because it is a housewarming, friendly eyes begin to shine under the magic spell. . . [reaction shots station wagons trays wineglasses stop-motion pixillation ham food fruit vanishing food disappearing]
. . . Of each teeny weeny polka dot martini. Your old friends wish you well. Your old friends wish you well. [martinis drinks alcohol trays smiles alcohol drinking vanishing disappearing smoke puffs sorcerers magicians spirits]
After the party is over and done with, what a mess the place is in. That's when the cleanup blues begin. But the Frigidaire house has gadgets to use that will drive away your cleaning up blues. Just pick up the plates the button is pressed and the dishwashing unit does all the rest. The glassware, silverware cleans themselves, washed and dried, they are back on the shelves. [cleanup housework magic pixillation stop-motion stop motion dirty dishes mess perplexity throwing dishes dishwashers china projectiles throws tossing tosses automatons]
Well done, you must be tired? Not me, I am ready for another party. A touch of magic every day is the charm that goes a long, long way. It keeps our spirits young and gay. And the magic is constantly new in a world full of magic with . . . [Producer-Director: Victor D. Solow. Script and Lyrics: Joseph March, Edward Eliscu. Music: Sol Kaplan. Choreography: Thomas Hansen. Singers: Anita Ellis, Ed Kenney. Photography: Stanley Meredith, Kenneth Snelson, Victor D. Solow. Film Editor: Reva Schlesinger. Art Direction: Paul Petroff, Richard Bianchi. Production Manager: Norman Gewirtz. Costumes: Mostoller. Special Effects: Huntley Rheinlander, Sol Goodnoff. Makeup: Clay Lambert. Furs by Frederica. Fashions by Hannah Troy. Hats by Mr. John Boutique. Jewelry by Kramer. Men's Fashions by Ohrbachs. Men's Formal Wear by Lord West. ecstasy sexuality flowers twirls dancing heaven clouds songs singing romance couples smoke desire explosions climaxes]<BR>
Subject: Okay, Okay...Now Somebody Better Fess Up....
Subject: PLAIN AWFUL
needed the poorly executed 'dream' cars? See an EVENING WITH FRED ASTAIRE choreographed by Hermes
Pan with music by David Rose for great popular
entertainment of the period. This show is on the
web in restored video COLOR! WOW. One thing most
everybody got that dishwasher. #30
Subject: Interesting as a reflection of the early sixties
IMHO, I think there a couple of reviewers critiquing this, who aren't aware of how to fairly judge a video or anything for that matter!
Any time you evaluate something, in order to assess it fairly, you need to evaluate it, WITHIN ITS OWN CONTEXT! This is from 1961. At that time, things like advertising and television, were shallow, overly optimistic and in denial of the seemier aspects of real life. Back then, Samantha could twitch her nose, or Jeanie could blink, and all your troubles are over. Dad could have a modest paying job, but it paid enough to buy a home, and Mom didn't need to work. She could stay at home, and performing her "house making chores" in a pretty dress. Dad could come home at night and have dinner waiting for him on the table served by his pretty wife in that pretty dress. Buffy and Sissy, would be there, bright smiles in anticipation of telling Dad what they had learned in school today!
Those were days of optimism. Of course, This wasn't true for everyone, especially for minorities and the poor, but the mainstream didn't want to admit that. That was the story told by television, advertising, popular music, magazines and other media for the most part. This optimistic mindset didn't want reality spoiling the mood.
The assassination of JFK and the Viet Nam war would permanently kill the optimistic mood of the country, in the nest few years.
"A Touch of Magic", is nothing more than advertising. I can't but help feel some of the critics feel it should be judged against such films as "Gone with the Wind", "The Ten Commandments" or "Citizen Caine".
To compare it with other advertising of its era, I think somewhere between three or for stars would be appropriate... Well, since it features the gorgeous and talented dancer Tad Tadlock from Texas, I'm going to give it Four Stars!
Subject: music video
all one love, nancy
Subject: Nothing new under the sun.
Subject: Banal Crap
Subject: I really wanted to enjoy this film, But...
Subject: Banal? Drek? Au contraire!
This is the kind of midcentury modernism which today's designers just cannot seem to shake off... If you were born into the Populuxe period-- say, 1955-1964-- then this kind of aesthetic, even when it borders upon the stark or ugly, is still charming and compelling...
It had a snazziness and wit that is often missing today; if anything, it's the cars of today that are banal and boxy.
Subject: Not Camelot
Subject: Watch it if you can
I can't say anything negative about the overall concept, the acting, or the sets. The message is fine (at least for the era): buy a new Chevy and a Frigidare and you will be the envy of all about.
By the standard of the day the tecnical team and talent were more than competent. No, it is the overall design of the show that fizzles flat today, and I suspect very strongly had very mediocre results at best, when it was new.
Design for Dreaming, as many others have mentioned, was a far better conceived and executed production. By all means see it if you haven't already.
Subject: The Magic fizzles
Subject: A Moment in Time
This particular film was made at the same time that the "Camelot" craze was sweeping across the United States- popularized by the assertion, who knows if it's actually true or not, that its cast album was popular listening material of the Kennedys. This medieval motif isn't at all out of place for the era- indeed, part of the charm of it is the very distinctive interpretation and creative spin the filmmakers made on such a theme.
Less charming and "tight" than "Design for Dreaming".. definitely.. reflective of the change, the rubbing off of some aspects of the consumerist veneer that were taking place at the same time? Yes. Naively hopefuly, even sentimental, rather than relentlessly optimistic? Most certainly.
Definitely quirky, and a neat film.
Subject: Long live the King
The fairy tale does not surrender or despair but it also does not delude us into accepting our slavery and calling it freedom.
This film is a work of genius in the true sense of the word not as an attribute, but a companion. And the genius is linguistically related to the djinn, the aristotelian demon, that voice inside which whispers "take care of yourself, my friend, take care of yourself."
Subject: Somebody had a marketing budget to spend
On the plus side, the house this strange couple lives in is cool, and any movie with a Frigidaire Flair in it is fine with me.
Subject: Corporate Magic
But what about their relationship? With a ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂtouch of magic,ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ a wedding ring appears on the womanÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂs finger. ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂThis Dream House you and I will share, was made for us by Frigidaire!ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ the man sings. Their traditional roles are reversed as the wife lays on the couch and invites guests to a housewarming party and the husband (in a tuxedo and chefÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂs hat) cooks the dinner. Empty GM cars arrive delivering invisible houseguestsÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂyet the real food disappears and the couple jointly throw the dishes in to a Frigidaire dishwasher. The only guest we actually see is the ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂEvil CharmerÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ from the ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂMagic of the PastÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ sequence earlier in the film. HeÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂs a bad omen of things to come. The invisible guests and empty cars give the dinner party sequence a sad undertone. DonÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂt these people have any actual friends? The couple dance and sing ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂThe touch of magic every day, is the charm that goes a long, long way!ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ as the room is filled with smoke (or fog)ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂnot the best advertisement for their Frigidaire kitchen.
ThereÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂs an interesting equality in the coupleÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂs relationshipÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂthey both take the wheel of the GM cars and share the housework as they plan their lonely dinner party. In a consumer culture, men and women are equally manipulatedÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂand equally isolated, as their desolate party shows. The film ends on a deserted stage set with the couple still maniacally dancing. What happened to their Corvair station wagon and Frigidaire Dream House? Maybe the finance company repossessed them. Modern Magic only goes so far.
Subject: Cue the smoke extinguishers!
Still, this is highly reccomended!
Subject: Wow! Just...wow!
Subject: WHO ARE THEY?
Subject: A Touch of Magic
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: *****. Weirdness: *****. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ****. Also available on Our Secret Century, Vol. 1: The Rainbow Is Yours.